More opportunities for women

first_imgSEOUL — Speaking in South Korea to conclude a five-day visit to Asia, Harvard President Drew Faust urged greater worldwide educational opportunities for women, telling an audience of more than 500 at Ewha Womans University that “the challenge is not only to educate females, but to create opportunities for their skills and talents to help build better and more prosperous societies, as well as improved women’s lives.”Ewha, the world’s largest women’s university, designated Faust only the second distinguished honorary Ewha fellow during a ceremony Friday that included remarks from Ewha President Kim Sun-Uk, a performance of traditional Korean music, and a roundtable for Faust and Kim with 20 young women studying at Ewha.In her speech, “Educate Women; Change the World,” Faust said it was important to continue to make the case for educational opportunities for women at a time when they remain dramatically underrepresented in many areas, including business and government.“How we define success in the education of women, whether in the United States or South Korea or worldwide, remains an open and pressing question,” said Faust. “Dramatic gender gaps persist. No society, no nation, has fully freed us from the question: Why educate women?”Faust highlighted the potential global economic benefits that would accrue from greater access to education for women. She pointed to the 2012 Global Gender Gap Report, which concluded that reducing the male-female employment gap in developed countries could lead to a GDP increase of as much as 9 percent in the United States and 13 percent in the eurozone.“Every nation’s long-term competitiveness depends on how well it educates and brings into play its women and girls,” said Faust.“The most valuable resource in the world is human talent. Unleashing that talent is one of society’s great challenges,” she said. “A growing body of analysis shows that for all kinds of reasons, any society that leaves out the wide talent pool of females is undermining its effectiveness — whether it loses the benefits of balance in corporate leadership roles, or the superior creativity and problem-solving capacities of diverse working teams.”Faust also discussed the importance of education beyond the economic impact.“We educate women not only because it is fair and efficient. We educate women because it is transformative,” she told the audience of students, faculty members, administrators, and special guests, including a number of ambassadors to South Korea. “The purposes of learning extend beyond quarterly reports and the bottom line, and even the economic and social benefits of a good job or a rising GDP.”“In America and South Korea alike, our zeal for achievement, what you call ‘education fever,’ can distort the deeper purposes of learning and narrow our definition of success,” she said. “When education becomes too focused on immediate measurable outcomes, on grades and awards, or when it becomes merely a path to money or prestige, we risk forgetting the inherent value of learning, and our broader aspirations.”Ewha, which has 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students, was founded in 1886 as Korea’s first educational institution for women. Kim hailed the partnership between Ewha and Harvard that includes academic exchanges between the universities. She also noted that Ewha’s motto — “Where change begins” — aligned with Faust’s remarks on how women can transform the world.The award ceremony was the final Asian stop for Faust, who also hosted a meeting of Korean university leaders and conducted a question-and-answer session with more than 300 Harvard alumni in Seoul.South Korean students represent the third-largest group of international students at Harvard, and the University has more than 1,000 alumni in the country.For the full text of President Drew Faust’s speech at Ewha Womans University.last_img read more

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UK local government funds criticise Barclays over executive pay

first_imgThe Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) has said it will vote against Barclay’s executive remuneration plan at today’s annual general meeting (AGM), while attacking its decision for Sir John Sunderland to lead the selection of the bank’s new chairman.The forum, a shareholder voting group for 60 local authority funds with more than £120bn (€146bn) in assets, said it believed institutional shareholder pressure was the only meaningful way to spur change at the bank.Sunderland is currently non-executive director at the bank, and former head of the remuneration committee, which came under severe criticism from shareholders for excessive pay.Councillor Kieran Quinn, who chairs the forum, said: “Sir John Sunderland has fortunately recognised it is inappropriate for him to serve as chair of the remuneration committee, but how can it be appropriate for him to lead the selection of Barclay’s new chair? “It appears that a continuing series of no votes by institutional shareholders is one of the few options open for meaningful engagement at Barclays.”The re-election of Sunderland and planned remuneration are two of the bank’s proposals expected to be rejected by the Forum and fellow institutions at today’s AGM.Pensions & Investment Research Consultants (PIRC), a proxy-voting service, has advised its members to follow suit.Standard Life Investments (SLI), asset manager and institutional shareholder, also denounced the bank’s remuneration policy.Owning 1.92% of the bank on behalf of its clients, SLI said it did not take the decision to reject the remuneration report lightly.Alison Kennedy, stewardship director at the manager, said: “We appreciate there were competitive pressures. Nevertheless, we are unconvinced the amount of the 2013 bonus pool was in the best interests of shareholders.“The board has stated its intention of reducing the compensation to net income ratio over the medium term. We support this intention, and it is important that, over time, the board demonstrates convincingly this will be achieved.”A spokesman for the LAPFF added that, while Barclays was a high-profile example, it was the tip of the iceberg for the problems in the financial sector.“The LAPFF has a long history of raising governance concerns at Barclays and at banks in general, going back to the LIBOR scandal, executive remuneration and accounting standards,” he said.“It is clear Barclays is the tip of the iceberg of dissatisfaction from pension funds.”last_img read more

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‘Statistics important in gov’t planning, making decisions’

first_imgILOILO – “Statistics is important inour everyday lives as well as in government planning, in policy-making.” She urged decision-makers andpolicymakers to analyze data. She said they have started to usetablets or computers in their data collection processes. This year’s celebration theme is “DataInnovation: The Key to a Better Nation.” “Data is very crucial. Before we plan,we must have the correct information. This is important in coming up withbetter plans,” stressed Bacal yesterday. The 30th NSM celebration starts with amotorcade along the major thoroughfares of Iloilo City, to be followed by theopening of an exhibit at SM City Iloilo. She lamented that “the general publicdo not really appreciate statistics so we have to be very innovative,especially in the use of information technology.”/PN Apart from poster-making contest andboard games, other activities lined up for the celebration are regionalstatistical quiz, knowledge analysis contest, data board contest andinformation dissemination, among others. center_img “We need to validate information tomake informed decisions,” she said. NEDA Region 6 Director Ro-Ann Bacal “Once we collect, we have to processthat faster so that NEDA Region 6 can use the data we produce,” said Alviar. For her part, Marlene Alviar, officer-in-chargeof the PSA in Western Visayas, said there is a need to be innovative in termsof gathering data because of the growing demand for information. Bacal said the theme is meant torecognize “things that are happening in this world in terms of technology andinnovation and how this can help us in our data generation and data analysis.” This National Economic and DevelopmentAuthority (NEDA) Region 6 director Ro-Ann Bacal stressed as her office and thePhilippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in Western Visayas prepare to kick offthe 30th National Statistics Month (NSM) observance today.last_img read more

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